Dragonfly Home Recipes

Recipes, Photography, Musings

Category: Pizza

Asparagus Potato Naan

Tender asparagus, thinly sliced baby potatoes, minced garlic, and Parmesan cheese on top of naan flatbread creates a quick, light meal or tasty appetizers.  Naan bread is endlessly versatile and can be the base for so many different types of flatbread pizzas.  This asparagus potato naan recipe features delicious, tender vegetables, and can be on your table in about 20 minutes.

asparagus potato naan on benchPotatoes and asparagus are not only in season right now, but they are also a great combination.  If you have never tried potatoes on flatbread, you should give it a try. The creaminess of cooked potatoes with melted cheese, all on top of a warm flatbread–it is delicious, especially when the tender-fresh crunch of asparagus is added.  While at first the thought of pairing of potatoes and flatbread may sound like a carb overload, it really isn’t in this case, since the naan flatbread is thin and the layer of potatoes is also thin.

DSC_0857This is a great summer meal when you are in a hurry and need to make something nourishing, or if you have guests over and want to serve them some fun, seasonal appetizers, out on the porch or deck, with a cold beverage and great conversation.  Can you tell I am wanting to invite some people over for dinner soon?  I am.  It has been a hectic spring, and we haven’t had much time to relax over our food and drinks.  Now the kids are out of school (as of today!) and their sports schedules are in somewhat of a lull for a month or so.  Our evenings and weekends are opening up.  It’s time to slow down and linger outside, letting conversations develop and quiet moments blossom.

It’s time to enjoy nature, including asparagus and potatoes, and soon the cherries and wild black raspberries growing right in our yard.  I just made the first strawberry shortcake of the season last night, and the strawberries were so fresh! Savoring the fruits and vegetables that are in season helps me feel like I am in the moment and experiencing life as it is unfolding.  Every last day of school since my kids have started school, I have felt emotional and bittersweet.  One era is ending as another is beginning.  Sometimes it can be hard to let things go, and sometimes we can’t wait to move on.  As I cannot believe how fast they are growing and sometimes want to slow time down, my kids are excited to move on to the next phase. Time passes regardless of how quickly or slowly we want it to go.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  This week’s Fiesta Friday is co-hosted by Lindy @ Love in the Kitchen and Liz @ spades, spatulas & spoons.   potatoes and asparagusasparagus potato naan on baking sheetasparagus potato naan white and green 2

Asparagus Potato Naan

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 20-25 minutes
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Ingredients:

  • 4-6 small potatoes (red or gold), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound of fresh asparagus, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 naan flatbreads (about 250 g or 8.8 oz in a package of 2)
  • about 1 cup of Parmesan cheese (other cheese can be used, if desired)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place the naan pieces on top of the parchment paper.

Wash the potatoes and asparagus.  Slice the potatoes very thinly.  Snap the tough ends off of the asparagus stalks and then chop the stalks into small pieces.  In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the sliced potatoes and toss gently for a couple of minutes, until the potatoes are just golden.  Remove from heat.

Pour the remaining olive oil into a shallow bowl.  Mince the garlic mix it in with the olive oil.  Brush the naan pieces with olive oil/garlic (with the bubbly side of the naan facing up).  Spread the potatoes in over the flatbread pieces in an even layer, then top with the chopped asparagus.  Sprinkle the cheese on top of the vegetables.  Place the baking sheet into your oven and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender and the cheese is melted.

Allow to cool slightly and slice into pieces. Enjoy!

asparagus and potato naan with dog

 

Mushroom-Sage Flatbread Pizza

Enjoy the rich, savory taste of sautéed mushrooms baked with fresh sage, cheese, olive oil and garlic, all on top of naan flatbread.  This mushroom-sage flatbread pizza is so quick and easy to throw together, yet so very flavorful.

The health benefits of mushrooms are great.  If you don’t eat meat, are trying to eat less meat, or just want a break from meat, mushrooms are a good way to give your body some of the same nutrients that meat gives it, plus some other vitamins and minerals.  Mushrooms are high in selenium, vitamin D, potassium, iron, and calcium, in addition to containing antioxidants.

mushroom pizza with sageWith my daughter being a vegetarian (actually, she eats fish, so I guess that is a pescetarian…), we eat a fair amount of portabella mushroom burgers.  For a change, I have been buying mixed mushrooms and making these flatbread pizzas for her.  They are so good!  We love the sage and mushroom combination, and sage has its own health benefits and healing properties.  It is known as the herb that imparts longevity and wisdom, and in the days when the use of herbs was more prominent, sage was used to soothe coughs and colds, ease night sweats, purify the spirit, and ward off evil.  I’m not sure if baking some fresh sage leaves in this pizza can accomplish all those things, but it can’t hurt, and it tastes so savory and earthy, so delicious with the mushrooms and cheese! In addition, sage is really easy to grow, and it comes back year after year.  We have had some in our garden for years, and I love to go out and pick the leaves as I am making dinner.

With many of our afternoons and evenings being filled with sporting events, meetings, concerts, and now yard and garden work this spring, I have been looking for quick and easy dinners.  This recipe fits the bill of being quick and delicious at the same time.  It works great served with a salad or a bowl of soup, or just on its own for a light dinner or tasty lunch.

mushroom pizza wholeFor Mother’s Day, I walked in the woods with my mother, husband, and kids, and with it being mushroom season, I got to thinking about how I would like to learn more about foraging for mushrooms.  I know that morel mushrooms grow in my area, and I think it would be a worthwhile hobby to cultivate, and a great excuse to get out into the woods more!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and enjoy spring!  Although it’s supposed to get cold again this weekend, so many trees are flowering here, and our lilacs are in full bloom.  I believe that is my favorite scented flower, so I am savoring every minute of the lilac season. mushroom pizza with sage and curtainmushrooms and sageFiesta Friday is co-hosted this week by Ahila @ A Taste of Sri Lankan Cuisine and Diann @ Of Goats and Greens.  I look forward to checking out their posts!

Mushroom-Sage Flatbread Pizza

  • Servings: 2-4, or 2 flatbread pizzas
  • Time: 20 minutes
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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of mushrooms, your choice (I often use a mixture of shitake, oyster, and mini bella mushrooms), washed, patted dry, and thinly sliced
  • a handful or two of fresh sage leaves, washed and patted dry
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 naan flatbreads
  • about 2 cups of shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, or shredded cheese of your choice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Wash the mushrooms, pat them dry, and thinly slice them.  In a small skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.  Place the mushrooms in the skillet and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.  Sautee the mushrooms for about five minutes, or until they are tender.  Pour about 1/4 cup of olive oil into a shallow bowl and mix the minced garlic into the olive oil.  With a pastry brush, brush the garlicky olive oil evenly across the pieces of naan flatbread.  Spread the mushrooms over the flatbread.  Then arrange the sage leaves on the flatbread, the amount according to your taste.  Sprinkle the shredded on top of the mushrooms and sage.

Place the pizzas on the baking sheet, and bake in your 400-degree oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden.  Let the pizzas cool for a couple minutes, and then slice into pieces.  Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Flatbread Pizza

With savory thyme, mellow butternut squash, and warm melted cheese, this flatbread pizza is perfect for lunch, or for dinner alongside a salad or a hearty bowl of soup. It only takes about a half hour to make, so it is a great option when you are short on time, but want something warm and satisfying.

butternut flatbread pizza with thymeI tend to go overboard in the late fall when buying squash.  The different colors and varieties all look so inviting, and I have so many plans and ideas for them.  Then when winter comes, I still have a couple of squash sitting elegantly on the counter in a pretty still-life, waiting to be used.  This flatbread pizza is a perfect way to use that squash before it’s too late, and it tastes so good, even the non-squash-lovers in your family will be surprised.  The health benefits of squash are well-known, and we can all use some extra potassium, fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and antioxidants.

The key is to cut the pieces of the squash small enough so they roast to tenderness while they are on the flatbread, thereby saving yourself that extra step of pre-roasting the squash before baking the pizza.  The sliced onion and the thyme really add a beautiful flavor, and blend so well with the mildness of the squash.  I like to use naan flatbread for these pizzas, which you can easily find at the grocery store.  That makes them quick to make, because sometimes time is scarce.

butternut flatbread pizzas with thyme 2Because our winter has been unusually mild so far, I was able to go out and find some thyme in our garden for this pizza.  I am always pleasantly amazed at how good fresh herbs smell, and how each one has such a distinct flavor.  I did a little research on thyme, since I like to add meaning to my food.  According to many sources, thyme historically symbolizes courage.  Greek soldiers used to bathe in water infused with thyme before battles, and medieval maidens embroidered thyme leaves on their knights’ cloaks for courage.  Thyme was also placed under pillows at night to keep nightmares away.

Another prevalent theme regarding thyme is that according to northern European folklore, fairies were often found sleeping in beds of wild thyme.  In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Oberon, king of the fairies, tells where to find the queen of the fairies:  “I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,/ Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,/Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,/With sweet musk-roses and elegantine.” When my kids were younger, we used to go around the yard looking for fairy houses. Little did we know, there might have been one in our herb garden. 🙂

I hope you all have a great weekend, and happy holidays! And if you need a little extra courage one day, tuck a sprig of thyme in your pocket.butternut flatbread pizza with thyme 3butternut flatbread pizza with squashbutternut flatbread pizza piecesI am taking this recipe over to Angie’ Fiesta Friday today, co-hosted this week by Caroline @ Caroline’s Cooking and Linda @ La Petite Paniere.

Butternut Squash Flatbread Pizza

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: about 35 minutes
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Ingredients:

  • 4 flatbreads (I like to use naan)
  • 2 cups of butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1/2 of an onion, sliced thinly (yellow sweet or red onion)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 and 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I use mozzarella and Parmesan, but sharp cheddar would work too)
  • olive oil

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Peel and chop the butternut squash and slice the onion.  Lightly spread olive oil onto the pieces of flatbread.  Arrange the pieces of squash and slices of onion on the flatbreads.  Sprinkle with the thyme leaves.  Then sprinkle with the shredded cheese.  Place the pizzas on a baking sheet, and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the squash is tender and the cheese is melted. Serve alone as a light meal, or as a side dish with soup or salad. Enjoy!

 

 

Turning My Kitchen into a Pizza Parlor

pizza doughWhen my husband, two small children and I first moved out to the country, there were a lot of adjustments to make.  One of them was pizza.  We had always lived close to pretty good pizza places before, and were used to being able to get a pizza easily.  That was not the case once we moved to the country.  Not only did we have to drive quite a ways to get a pizza (or tip a delivery driver really well, which seemed wasteful), but with two small children, sometimes loading up in the car was more trouble than it was worth.  That was when I learned to make my own pizza.  What a ritual it has turned out to be for our family.  It is one meal I know my husband and both kids and will love.  It is also a meal that is fun to make for friends and members of the extended family.  When my kids have friends over, I like to have them help put the toppings on.  If they help make it, they are more likely to enjoy it.

Of course buying your own crust is a lot quicker and easier.  And sometimes we do that too.  Making pizza crust from scratch is time-consuming and labor-intensive.  But if I have enough time, it is total therapy for me to be in my kitchen kneading dough and smelling the delicious scents of the flour and yeast as it combines with the water and oil.  If I have time to make the crust by hand, it usually means we are going to be home for awhile and the kids are bustling in and out, helping with parts and then running off to play.  Or it might mean that friends or extended family members are over, and we are chatting while I work on the dough.  Either way, it is usually a festive time when we are not rushing to get to all the different events we often need to go to.  It is also healthy to make crust from scratch.  That way, you know exactly what is in it, and generally, homemade crust has less salt, grease, and preservatives than pizza you buy either at the store or a quick pizza place.  I like to make it with some whole wheat flour and white flour mixed, to give it a little more fiber.  one pizza sliceI posted the recipe for my homemade crust below.

The type of toppings can change with the seasons and to fit the tastes of those eating the pizza.  Right now with spinach and basil in season, I like to use a lot of those.  A favorite combination for my family is homemade pizza sauce (that recipe I will post at later time), spinach, basil, salami (I leave a portion without salami for my vegetarian daughter), shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, and feta cheese if we have it.  The different combinations are endless though, and that is why it is so fun to experiment.  One of my favorite experiments was with butternut squash, red onions, and shredded cheddar cheese.

For awhile, Friday night was homemade pizza night at our house.  As the kids have gotten older and we have gotten busier with their sports and activities, I don’t have the time to make pizza from scratch every week.  But we try to do it at least once or twice a month, and not always on a Friday.  It feels good not to always rely on some other place or some other company for our pizza.  It feels good to be able to produce it in my own kitchen.  It feels good once in awhile to really slow down and be forced to take time with food, and to really get my hands into the making of it.

whole pizzatwo pizza slices

Recipe for Homemade Pizza Crust

Homemade Pizza Crust

  • Servings: two large pizzas
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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour, plus more for adding to dough to get the right texture
  • 1/4 ounce (7 g) package active dry yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cup luke warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour (I like to use the above combination of whole wheat and white flour–you can substitute more white for the wheat if you want), yeast, sugar, and salt.  Pour in the luke warm water (it should not be hot–that could cause the dough not to rise) and the olive oil.  Stir vigorously until dry and wet ingredients are well mixed.  Gradually add white flour to the dough mixture until it gets more like dough and less like batter.  When it can hold together as a ball, scrape the dough onto a floured counter top and begin to knead the dough.  Gradually work in more flour as you knead until the dough feels elastic and smooth.  If it is still sticky, knead in more flour.  Knead for at least eight to ten minutes, till the dough is soft and pliable.  Place the ball of dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover the bowl with a dishcloth.  Let it rise in a warm (not hot) place for at least 45 minutes.

When dough has doubled in size, punch it down in the bowl (my kids’ favorite part of the process) and turn back out onto the floured counter top.  Knead in a little more flour if it is sticky.  Divide the dough into two balls, place them back in the same bowl, cover them with the towel, and let them rest for about ten minutes.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Then turn the first ball of dough out onto the floured counter top.  With a rolling pin, roll it to fit either a 15-inch pizza stone or a standard sized cookie sheet.  It is not important to worry about the exact size of the pizza stone or baking sheet–the dough can stretch to fit as long as it is in the general vicinity of the above sizes.  To prevent sticking, dust the pizza stone or baking sheet with cornmeal.  Carefully transfer the rolled dough from the counter to the pizza stone or baking sheet.  Gently press it to make it fit the surface evenly.  Then repeat the process with the second ball of dough, and transfer it to the second pizza stone or baking sheet.  I like to brush olive oil on the dough once it is spread onto the pizza stone/baking sheet.

Spread on your favorite pizza sauce, toppings, and cheeses.  Bake in the 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or till the cheese is melted and the crust is lightly browned.  Take out of the oven and let the pizzas cool for about five to ten minutes before slicing them.

Enjoy!